Ben Brogan reckons a YouGov poll for tomorrow’s Telegraph will give Brown a wider lead than the 5% he got in the recent ICM poll, and that Cameron’s ratings have fallen. He quotes claims from CCHQ that their internal Populus polls show the opposite.

A significant widening would go against most people’s instincts as the last poll was taken before the "social breakdown crisis" in which Brown has been very quiet.

10pm update: A worrying headline in the Telegraph, "Tory blow in polls fuels election speculation", distracts from a Conservative increase of one point over the last YouGov poll and a two point drop for the LibDems – 41%, 33%, 14%. Cameron is personally up one point to 20% on the "best Prime Minister" stakes, with Brown ahead on 44%. Insiders claim the party’s internal polling puts Labour on 37% and the Conservatives on 36%.

Contrary to the headline of this post the survey is said to have been "taken before Mr Cameron’s fightback on crime and immigration this week" so expectations can be lowered a little. Anthony King, however, still feels able to say that "[David Cameron’s] “bare-knuckled fight” with Gordon Brown seems to have left him rather than Mr Brown on the canvass".

King points to some encouraging details though; majorities of those asked believe that the government wastes a lot of money, that the threshold for the top rate of income tax should be raised, and that inheritance tax should be abolished.

Deputy Editor

Graphic added at 11.30pm:


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